Having a brunch wedding reception or a lunch reception is a great way to cut reception costs.

There are several advantages to having your reception earlier in the day. One of the biggest is cost. A brunch reception is generally less expensive than dinner. Also, if the wedding venue is a popular one, you might have a better chance finding an opening earlier in the day.

If you are having a buffet brunch reception or luncheon, chances are your guests aren’t going to drink as much as they would at an evening reception. If you choose to serve alcohol, wine and champagne are all that is necessary, although some couples still choose to have an open bar with mixed drinks available.

Another advantage of having a brunch wedding reception is that it is generally shorter than a later reception. Some couples prefer this to having a drawn out evening event.

Jan and Mike wanted a simple wedding, without dancing, so they chose to have a lunch reception at a restaurant/converted train car.

“I have always been an avoider of the limelight. (I) never enjoyed big weddings … with all the protocol, receiving lines etc … I wanted to feel relaxed but still wanted to be the bride,” says Jan.

Because of her love of trains, the café they chose was a perfect fit.

“I wanted something different. I have been to so many horrible weddings in legion halls … I wanted people to have a decent lunch,” says Jan, who adds that they chose to have a buffet style hot chicken lunch with salads and cheese and fruit trays.

Just because you are having an earlier reception, doesn’t mean it can’t be as elegant as an evening soiree.

Lynette and Charles, who got married inside a Phoenix mansion, had an elaborate brunch reception which included iced jumbo shrimp, a carving station with prime rib, an omelet station, and eggs benedict – among many other choices.

The couple did not want dancing at their reception, so they had Christmas carolers, as well as a harpist provide the music for the afternoon. They also decided to forego the bouquet toss and the garter toss.

“We wanted to make our day more memorable with the carolers and harp, than bore the guests with the typical reception activities,” says Lynette.